Process Model Template with Swim Lanes

Developing, defining and documenting processes is a huge part of what I’ve done throughout my career.

Different processes require different ways of documenting them so that they are easy to understand & can be used as a reference tool in the future. I find using Visio to be the easiest way to convey the overall process picture.

One of the templates that I use most often is a simple Swim Lane model. Over the years I’ve created a simple template that I’ve refined/simplified and I use quite often.

A few key thing that I use include:

Titles and Subtitles

When the project or task is new, naming conventions are not a big concern, but in the weeks/months/years afterwards, knowing the intended purpose of the process model is quite helpful!


Numbering each step provides clarity and allows people to identify and/or refer to specific steps in the process:


There should be a clear point in which a process model begins and end. Simple color coding can help with that:

Swim Lanes

Swim Lanes offer people/teams associated with your process a way of identifying their specific work by looking at the steps in their “swim lane”:

Her is a link to my Visio Swim Lane template in PDF format and in a zipped Visio Template format (vstx).

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